Through my years working with Uber I have observed how the driver app with all of its different features has changed. Some features have improved the driving experience immensely, yet there is still room for improvement on safety aspects.
One of my main concerns is how follow on jobs are at times continuesly displayed on my screen if demand for rides are high.
It can be overwhelming and dangerous at times when trying to concentrate on the road, while at the same time looking at the screen to see if the job request is worth taking. The majority of follow on requests displayed on the screen are sometimes a long distance away from where you are dropping off and would generally never be considered. This issue would also affect the drivers rejection rate.
On these very busy occasions I am constantly interacting with the app, instead of concentrating on the road and getting the rider home safely in a comfortable, professional, manner. While going through these motions I regularly have to apologise and explain to riders that it is very busy and there is a high demand for drivers. These constant requests can last for the duration of someone's trip. The alerts can not be switched off or paused.
The navigation map effectively becomes unusable when a request alert flashes on the screen. Sometimes when approaching large unfamiliar roundabouts on motorways, with multiple turn offs, etc, the alert message remains on the screen obliterating the navigation map.
This has happened to me on many occasions, whereby I have missed my turn off. Not a very nice experience for me or my rider.
When dismissing the request by pressing the X to remove it and get back onto the map, it is essential to recentre the map by pressing on the right hand bottom corner, but with the continuous alerts appearing I sometimes inadvertently accept another request which I would normally not have accepted, ultimately affecting my cancellation rate.
I have talked to other Uber drivers about this problem. They all agree with what I have said and believe the follow-on-alerts in the app should be updated with safety in mind for the driver and rider, making the journey a more comfortable ride for everyone.
I am sure all Uber drivers would appreciate a more ergonomic safer form of accepting requests, without it jeopardising the driver and riders safety.
WHERE THE APP CAN IMPROVE
• The navigation map should still be able to be read without having to take your hand off the wheel to recentre, after dismissing a request.
The alert should be made smaller to fit in at the top of the screen, with slightly larger more readable information.
• There should be options as to where you want to accept jobs from. This would narrow down the amount of requests being shown.
• When a follow on request appears on the screen it should show the distance from the drop-off -point from where you are already going to, to the next pick up location, instead of from where you are located when first recieving the request.
This can become confusing and disconcerting as the follow on request might read 5 -10 miles away. When the driver has eventually dropped off the last rider the distance might not have narrowed down to become a viable fare.
• A driver should be able to put requests on hold, especially when road conditions are bad and full attention on the road is paramount.